Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What is Scrum , Anyway ?

What is Scrum , Anyway ?
If you're a budding software developer, you've probably heard of the term "scrum" being passed around. Moreover, you've probably wondered what this strange-sounding word means, and why it seems to hold such importance. Despite how foreign or alien it sounds, though, the term can actually be very easily understood. It is quite a simple method, but a powerful one at the same time.
The word represents a revolutionary method of software development. What makes it different from other methodologies, however, is that it is not as strict and detailed when it comes to the process. It doesn't have a definitive set of rules that everyone involved has to follow religiously. When it comes to scrum, the basics of the process vary from one development team to the next. One software developer can use the framework in a quite different way from another software developer, but both will still adhere to the framework's basic principles.
Through this method, the entire process is split up into small sections called "sprints." More often than not, these sprints last between two to four weeks long - a relatively short time, if you think about it. So why the short time period? This is because the process works best for projects where requirements can change at any given moment. When you use the scrum methodology, sudden changes can be handled quite easily. Since the process is performed in iterations, it's far easier to incorporate a new requirement or change in requirements without the need for inconvenient overhauls. Software development, for instance, always requires the people involved to be on their toes. With this revolutionary new method, these people don't have to be as tense or anxious.
Embracing this framework will definitely make meetings with your development team much easier and more effective. Instead of having to go through the standard ETVX discussion, which determines Entry Criteria, Task Definitions, Validation Criteria, and Exit Criteria, people using scrum simply have to focus on the tasks and goals for the upcoming sprint - no more, no less. This makes things far more dynamic, and keeps people focused on the most important aspect of the project at any given time.
Gone are the days when managing a project meant laying everything out from the very beginning and just hoping against hope that absolutely nothing goes wrong along the way. With this great new method, a team is very well-equipped for any emergency. It was designed to withstand even the most extreme changes in requirements. This proves that it never really pays to be stubborn and stay stuck in your ways. Life is truly unpredictable, and any team worth their salt should embrace this truth with open arms.
If you and your team are still doing things the old-fashioned way, you should really give this new method a shot. It is guaranteed to make things run far more smoothly than you've ever imagined. What's the point of sticking to traditions, after all, when there's something new and considerably better just waiting around the corner?

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